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This recipe came to the Sands from their Dutch American Field Service (AFS) son Kees Willemson. Kees' father is a confectioner in Haarlem, Holland and as a boy, he can remember many a New Year's Eve cooking Olie Bollen in large, steaming vats on the street during the holiday season and then selling these bits of Dutch warmth and cheer to passing revellers for a couple of gilders apiece.
An Olie Bol is reminiscent of a yeast-raised doughnut, but much better. Although the Dutch celebrate New Year's Eve with them, they are so good, you may want to practice making them several times so at year's end, you'll be an expert.
If you want to mix this together in the evening for brunch the next day, make up the dough, cover it and put the bowl in the refrigerator where it will rise at a pace designed to give you a good night's sleep. Otherwise you'll need to start about 1 1/2 hours ahead of when you want to serve the Olie Bollen.
2 cups (16 ounces) warm water
1 packet or tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) dry milk
4 cups (17 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3 ounces) currants
1/2 cup (3 ounces) golden raisins
2 apples, peeled and chopped
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pour the water into a mixing bowl. In it dissolve the sugar, yeast, and dry milk successively. Beat in the eggs and lemon juice. In another bowl, measure the flour and salt. Add the fruit to the flour and stir into the wet ingredients. This will produce a very wet dough which you want to cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel so it can bubble away and expand for an hour or so.
About half an hour before you want to cook the Olie Bollen, stir down the dough and let it rest.
After 20 minutes, heat 3 to 4 inches of vegetable oil or shortening in a large saucepan until it reaches 350°F. Dip a large spoon or ice cream scoop into the hot oil and then transfer a glob of dough to the hot fat. Cook several of these at a time, but allow enough room for them to expand. To help them expand somewhat evenly, flip them over after they've first risen to the surface. Continue cooking them until they're a warm golden brown on both sides, flipping them back and forth as needed. Remove them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain.
The Dutch eat these wonderful things by tearing them apart and dipping them in powdered sugar. (We use maple syrup here in Vermont, which even a Dutchman approves of, but our Vanilla Powder might prove another acceptable option.)
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 2, December 1991 issue.